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Reviewer: Paul Candy
Financial Interests: click here
Digital Source: CEC TL51X transport, Audiomat Tempo 2.6 DAC, Windows XP based laptop, M2Tech hiFace USB-S/PDIF interface
Analog Source: Well-Tempered Lab Amadeus, Pro-Ject Tube Box SE phono stage, Ortofon Rondo Blue cartridge
Amps: Audiomat Opéra Référence integrated
Speakers: Green Mountain Audio Callisto (on sand-filled Skylan stands), 2 x REL Q108 Mk II subwoofers.
Cables: MIT Magnum M1.3 interconnects & speaker cables, MIT Magnum digital cable, Wireworld Equinox 6 interconnects & speaker cables, Sablon Audio Panatela interconnect [in for review]
AC Cables: MIT Magnum AC1, Wireworld Aurora 5² & Silver Electra 5², Sablon Audio Robusto & Gran Corona [in for review]
Stands: Grand Prix Audio Monaco four-tier rack on Apex footers with silicon nitride bearings
Powerline conditioning: BPT Pure Power Center with Wattgate, Bybee Quantum Purifier and ERS cloth options, GutWire MaxCon
Sundry accessories: Acoustic Revive RR-77, Auric Illuminator, Audio Magic/Quantum Physics Noise Disruptors, Caig Pro Gold, Echo Busters acoustic room treatments, Isoclean fuses, HiFi Tuning Disc Demagnetizer, Nitty Gritty record cleaning machine, Soundcare Superspikes (on speaker stands), dedicated AC line with Wattgate 381 outlet, CruzeFIRST Audio Maestro outlets [in for review]
Room size: 11 x 18 x 8’, long wall setup, suspended hardwood floors with large area sisal rug, walls are standard drywall over fiberglas insulation
Review components retail: Gran Corona $850/5’; Panatela $850/3’pr; Maestro $79

Several months ago I enthused over Sablon Audio’s Robusto power cable. It gave my system "a shot of adrenaline to sound bigger, bolder and more powerful yet also smoother and more relaxed". Based on user feedback Sablon’s Mark Coles decided to offer another power cable with the same basic full-bodied musicality but a more neutral tonal balance, greater extension and transparency. The overall appearance is roughly the same but with even greater conductor mass, a lower capacitance geometry and a few other tweaks.

The Gran Corona features a whopping 4-gauge cryogenically treated copper conductor bundle per pole. Like the Robusta an external ground lead reduces noise interference. The wall plug is high-purity copper, the 15A IEC connector is plated rhodium/silver. Both connectors too are cryogenically treated. Anti-vibration Magic paint damps resonance and noise-reducing crystals factor in critical locations. I could hear them rattling about in the connectors as I positioned things to take pictures.

Upon learning what was responsible for that rattling and my explanation on why crystals such as amethyst are used in audio, my wife wryly commented without missing a beat that "somebody should put Valium or Percocet in them to make the music more relaxed and mellow". I truly lucked out when she agreed to marry me so many moons ago. All cables are treated with contact enhancers, anti-oxidants and pre-conditioned with an Audiodharma Anniversary cable cooker.

While my review of the Robusto was enthusiastic, I did caution that it might a bit too much of a good thing in some systems, generally those already leaning to the warm side. I have no such qualms with the Gran Corona. While it delivered the same overall smoothness, speed and weight, it went further in transparency and openness as well as bass depth and weight. More subtle musical details were evident as was an even deeper quieter background. It’s as though the noise floor dropped an order of magnitude lower. The mids weren’t quite as warm as the Robusto which really is another way of saying that the Gran Corona didn’t quite have the same overt personality. Essentially it offered the same basic elements of the Robusto with a tad more neutral tonal balance but more extension and articulation at either end of the spectrum.